Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 154

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 154

Question 1

What is the Somogyi effect?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Hyperglycaemia after prolonged hypoglycaemia.

The effect is counter-intuitive to insulin users who experience high blood sugars in the morning as a result of too much insulin during the night. [Reference]


Question 2

After disputing the sensitivity of the S1Q3T3 pattern on an ECG to your intern, they run up to you ecstatic that they have found Mackler’s triad. What condition are they looking after?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Boerhaave syndrome

Saul Allen Mackler (1913 – 2007) was an Associate Professor of thoracic surgery at Chicago Medical School when he described his clinical triad of vomiting, chest pain and subcutaneous emphysema – as classic signs for oesophageal rupture, unfortunately only present 14-25% of the time.

Question 3

What was the poet Cowper referring to:

OH! may I live exempted (while I live
Guiltless of pampered appetite obscene)
From pangs arthritic that infest the toe
Of libertine excess.

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Cowper believed Gout was caused by indolence, indulgence and could be avoided through exercise through rambles or walks in the countryside, communing with nature

Question 4

What is the key component of the ‘William the Conqueror‘ diet?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Legend has it that William the Conqueror was so fat he couldn’t get on his horse. To combat this he devised a personalised dietary regimen: he locked himself in a room with alcohol the only substance available for him to consume.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the strategy has been scurrilously questioned on the following basis: when William the Conqueror died he was so obese he could not be squeezed into his sarcophagus and he stunk out the chapel with his decaying corpse. [Reference]

Question 5

How does a nun’s urine help your fertility?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Pergonal a medication with extracted FSH/LH to stimulate ovulation was originally mass produced from post menopausal women’s urine (nun’s).

The drug was discovered in the 1940’s but there was not enough urine available for a clinical trial from postmenopausal women. A decade later a rich Italian aristocrat spoke with Serono board members  (after previously rejecting a clinical trial 10 days earlier) with the promise of a supply of nun’s urine from the Pope Pius XII.

It took 10 nuns 10 days to produce enough urine for one treatment.

It was later discovered the Vatican owned 25% of Serono. [Reference]

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Dr Neil Long BMBS FACEM FRCEM FRCPC. Emergency Physician at Kelowna hospital, British Columbia. Loves the misery of alpine climbing and working in austere environments (namely tertiary trauma centres). Supporter of FOAMed, lifelong education and trying to find that elusive peak performance.

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